Ep. 62 – Interview w/ Stefan Smulders

How to Use Automation the Right Way

It’s a topic that is being discussed frequently in the B2B marketing space: automation. Although there are many factors that speak in favor of it, there are still many who are using it in a very generic and intrusive “spray and pray” fashion. As a result, platforms like LinkedIn have taken measures to impede this approach. On this week’s episode, we talk to SaaS expert Stefan Smulders (CEO & FounderExpandi) on how he teaches people to use automation in a way that is personalized, builds authentic relationships, and enables B2B businesses to improve their professional outreach at scale.

Play Video about B2B Marketers on a Mission EP 62 - Stefan Smulders

Topics discussed in this episode:

  • Stefan elaborates on the right approach to automation [5:35]
  • Stefan shares some ways to personalize your messages [9:42]
  • Stefan elaborates on the 5 strategies that he used to grow his business [18:54]
    • Create great content
    • Content distribution
    • Building a community
    • SEO
    • Helping users to get to know your product the right way
  • Why Stefan believes that LinkedIn is still a goldmine [40:10]
  • Stefan’s advice: Start defining what you want to achieve [41:48], and stop focusing on mass outreach [43:42]



Christian Klepp, Stefan Smulders

Christian Klepp  00:00

Welcome to B2B Marketers on a Mission, a podcast for B2B marketers that helps you to question the conventional, think differently, disrupt your industry, and take your marketing to new heights. Each week, we talk to B2B marketing experts who share inspirational stories, discuss their thoughts and trending topics, and provide useful marketing tips and recommendations. And now, here’s your host and co-founder of EINBLICK Consulting, Christian Klepp. Okay, welcome everyone to this episode of the B2B Marketers on a Mission podcast where you get your weekly dose of B2B marketing insights. This is your host, Christian Klepp. And today, I’d like to welcome a guest into the show who is on a mission. And it’s a very important one, it’s because it’s to teach people how to use automation in a way that’s personalized, builds relationships, and helps businesses to scale. So coming to us from the Netherlands, Mr. Stefan Smulders. I’m gonna try to say this as best as I can “Goedemiddag en welkom bij de show“! So welcome to the show.

Stefan Smulders  00:58

Christian, first of all, welcome and a pleasure to be here. And for such a roundish introduction. You pronounce it exactly the way it should be. So… It’s amazing.

Christian Klepp  01:09

Thank you! I need a little bit more practice, I have to say, because my Dutch is a little bit rusty. (laugh)

Stefan Smulders  01:15

Yeah, but it was actually a great start. So yeah, I liked it. It was the first time that someone announced me in my own language. So it’s really cool.

Christian Klepp  01:26

It was really great to be connected with you, Stefan. And I’m really looking forward to this topic. Because man, you and I both know that this is a very relevant topic. This is being discussed online, I would say without exaggerating on a daily basis, right? Because there’s so many people out there that are not using this properly. And what I’m talking about is automation. Right? So you’re the CEO and founder of a company called Expandi so that company has a reputation for being the world’s safest software for LinkedIn automation. But as I just mentioned, there’s a lot of people that are using this the wrong way. So can you talk to us about the right way to do automation?

Stefan Smulders  02:05

Interesting question. And yeah, let’s definitely spend some valuable time to, to dive a bit more in depth here. I think for the ones who are listening, and who are already active on LinkedIn and doing outreach, I think that we all face some changes on LinkedIn side, right? The platform is growing, and with more than 750 million users on the platform, it’s a common thing that everybody’s inboxes are overflow with spray and pray approaches, and boring messages with outdated connection requests people found on Google. And they were actually performing really, really well in 2015. But they definitely made not that much sense anymore. And for a lot of people on the platform, it was actually doing easy business for a couple of years, you get a lot of people from, for example, in Sales Navigator search with filters, like job title, and location. And then you added all these people through an automation to automatically connect with them. And as soon as they accept to shoot out follow up messages with sending your Calendly link and actually bombing them with possibilities to engage with you, and book appointments. And since LinkedIn want to avoid spam. And we faced these changes, I think, since maybe six months ago, that’s not that common anymore. Everybody can keep on going with all these spray and pray approaches. And actually what LinkedIn say, Okay, if you want to stay on the platform, then you have to change your behavior. And instead of sending 100 requests or actions per day, you have to do it with only 100/week. And I think that’s a challenge for a lot of people, especially if you’re not that great at being creative, and doing searches and finding your audiences the right way. You can imagine with only 100 people, you have to make sure that you target them the right way. Because you only have 100 options to reach out to them. And I think that’s, first of all the main change we all face, but luckily there are lots of opportunities and ways to work around that and to deal and adopt all these changes LinkedIn has prepared.

Christian Klepp  04:58

Yeah those are some really great insights, Stefan and you know, to your point, I think a lot of people, um, you can call it a lazy approach, you can call it a numbers game, because people are trying to do outreach to as many people as they possibly can, at the expense of probably ignoring the fact that who they are reaching out to may or may not be a right fit in terms of what they provide. And I mean, we’ve all seen this right? I, I got one this morning. And it’s, it’s from somebody, it’s totally irrelevant to my business, right. But I’m probably one of 1000s of people that are reaching out. Right?

Stefan Smulders  05:35

Exactly. And that’s, most of the people look in the past time that they see it as a simple funnel, I just explained with less proper targeting quantities election, and from there on just adding as much people in the campaign as needed. And if the results are too low, everybody’s just dropping more people in the campaign, and then there will always be an outcome. And these kinds of approaches. Yeah, we have to stop or that if you want to stay on the platform, and indeed, adopt a bit of a more kind of approaches where you do really your best to engage with people where you try to build relationships, where you produce content, where people see you as an authority. And of course, all these things can also be done with different kinds of automations to make your life much more easier. But if I analyze the situation, I think it’s fair enough to say that 80, 90% of all the people on LinkedIn have a lower SSI score or Social Selling Index, as 70. And if you dive into the area, you know that the SSI score contains four bylaws. And it actually means from LinkedIn’s perspective, how healthy is your LinkedIn profile, and mainly a lot of people who are only focused on doing outreach, they have a huge and a great number in building relationships, and birthday like in the older three parter, for example, to engage more people to build an authority out of your LinkedIn profile. But also like in producing content in different formats on a consistent way. And that are actually the main things LinkedIn want you to do. Host your own event, for example, because they want that you are going to engage with people you know, if people are attending your event, it’s more likely that you can invite them because of that, if you produce a lot of content and people start engaging with it, it is easy with such kind of clever automations, like Expandi to scrape all the people who engage with your content and start approaching them a thanks for voting on my ball, or thanks for engaging with my post, it can be a better start of conversation than how people were mainly doing it the old days. If you make your profile much more attractive, it can, because of all the pieces of content you’re going to create, retrieve more visitors to your profile. And with the tools like Expandi that you can easily build automations to automatically follow up people who have visited your profile, and just warm up the relationships by visiting back, by liking their latest posts, by following them or their company pages before you do actually an action to really engage with them. And that will give you the opportunities to make them a bit of a more aware that you are around the place and interested to get your freedom before you do actually anything and increase your chances to have more success.

Christian Klepp  09:14

Yeah, no, there’s some really great points. And you know, you already touched on some of the common mistakes and misconceptions around automation. And you brought up that word that I’d like to talk about a little bit further, which is a word I would say social selling and personalization. So can you talk to us a little bit more about how you can use these two to leverage automation and why these are better strategies than your you know, the so called spray and pray approach.

Stefan Smulders  09:42

Yeah, I think at the end, because of the huge amount of people who are active on LinkedIn, it will be a bit of a more harder to stand out of all the autos right and to not be that generetic like everybody else. So it all starts with personalizing just a simple placeholders like a first name and company name. But it seems that will not be enough anymore. Because mainly everybody is doing it like that a first time, I came across your profile as you’re working at a company name, or as a job title. So to do things different, I think the image or gif personalization to interrupt the patterns and to minimize the ads will definitely help. I’ve tested this, since we built an amazing integration with the market leader in hyper personalization software that’s Hyperise. They are from the UK. And but their software, you can easily connect with Expandi and from every message after the connection request, even if it’s an InMail or a group message, you can use a personalized image or gif animation. Or you can add, for example, their profile picture on their website, their company logo. And since I use these kinds of ways to personalize, I see an increase in reply rates and an uplift on average from at least 2.2. I think it’s fair enough to say that if people accept your connection request, and you shoot over different messages afterwards, that the 25% reply rate on average is actually already a nice number. But since using just images, or personalization, for example, myself or one of my colleagues on a whiteboard with dynamic content and the profile image of the receiver moment, and just ask a simple question instead of an attacker approach, it increase to at least 55% each and every time. So that is I think it’s an interesting way to go on because still not everybody is using such kind of a ways to engage with people on the platform.

Christian Klepp  12:15

Yeah, and those are some really interesting points. And I think it’s also going back to something you said earlier, I think it’s also a lot of these people that are using the spray and pray approach. I feel that I’m curious to see what their success rate is. I mean, for starters, yeah. And I’m going to assume that it’s not going to be very high. Secondly, it’s also… do you think it’s, it’s partly also because they just don’t really understand who it is that they’re targeting? Right? Like, they’ll see. They’ll say like, okay, for example, marketing manager, but which industry, right? What location? Right, those things. So, I think what you’re recommending, and those are really good points, it’s, it sounds like hard work. So…

Stefan Smulders  13:04

It’s, of course, a bit of a more work. And it all starts with educating, right. And it’s also very easy to just run a simple search or basic search on Sales Navigator registered in job title and a location, because people are excited to start and outreach people so I can understand that as well very, very well. But since they brought in these kinds of limitations, they forced everybody to come out of the comfort zones and stop with these approaches. Otherwise, you can’t survive on LinkedIn anymore. These days, you have to find a new way, for example, hosting your own event, creating content on a consistent way to boost that event, try to get 1000 attendees on your event. And instead of doing a single demo, one on one, you can now educate people on a larger scale at the same time. And if you go on to dive a bit more on LinkedIn, and on our website as well, you will see that that’s what they strongly recommend. So if we want to be a bit more in line with what LinkedIn wants you to do, then that are definitely the ways or a new way to go.

Christian Klepp  14:30

Yeah, no, absolutely. You know, there was something that you just mentioned earlier, Stefan with and I’d like to get your opinion on that. How important do you think it is… You know, as part of your social selling initiative, how important do you think it is for you to engage with other people’s content, so it’s not just putting content out there but also commenting on other people’s posts, for example.

Stefan Smulders  14:53

I think it makes definitely a lot of sense also to make people think In your network aware that you are active… every time if you like or commented, or engaged, we just as somebody else post on LinkedIn, they will see it as well. Right? So you will be on top of mind if people say you combined with just giving a small comment on somebody else posts, and LinkedIn also see that you really try to engage with people, which help you to increase one of these spiders that belong to that thing in your social selling index score.

Christian Klepp  15:32

Yeah, no, absolutely. Absolutely.

Stefan Smulders  15:35

Is it something you are doing yourself as well, engaging with other people’s content as part of your strategy?

Christian Klepp  15:41

Yeah, I am. I am. But I would say I engage thoughtfully, like if I think I have something valuable to add to the conversation, I’m usually not the kind of person that’s just gonna say, oh, great post, and then there’s nothing after that, right? So it has to be, for me, at least it has to be B2B marketing related. It can be about something like somebody shares their personal story, then I engage with that a little bit, too. But I try to keep it professional. So if it’s, if it’s on a topic that that I know something about, and I think I can add some kind of value to the conversation, then I will comment.

Stefan Smulders  16:19

Make sense. Make sense.

Christian Klepp  16:21

Yeah, okay.

Hey, it’s Christian Klepp here. We’ll get back to the episode in a second. But first, is your brand struggling to cut through the noise? Are you trying to find more effective ways to reach your target audience and boost sales? Are you trying to pivot your business? If so, book a call with EINBLICK Consulting, our experienced consultants will work with you to help your B2B business to succeed and scale. Go to www.einblick.co for more information.  

Yeah, I’d like to discuss something with you further, based on an article and you were featured in many articles, but this one specifically, this one stood out for me, I’ll have to say. So it was an article published in medium. And I think we had this conversation previously. So this article was published May 24 of this year. So you talked about five strategies that you use to grow your business. And I think that this is so relevant for the listeners, not necessarily because of your own story. But I think it’s more of a case study of how B2B companies can use these strategies, especially if they’re trying to scale and they’re trying to use marketing in a more strategic way to expand their reach online. Right? So just let me just go through the five strategies, and then we can expand on them. Right. So the first one is, you mentioned that already create great content, I think that goes without saying. The content has to be good, it has to be relevant to your target audience. Number two, which I think is equally important. content distribution, right? Because if you do one well, and the other one is not so good. That kind of defeats the purpose, right? building a community. I think that’s become even more important in these past 12 to 15 months, because we’re all at home. We’re all working online. From what I’ve been reading so far, I don’t know about you, it kind of sounds like that’s not really going to go away anytime soon. Right? So online communities are here to stay. Amen to that, because that helps people like you and me. Don’t forget about SEO. Right? And the fifth one, which I think a lot of companies out there are getting wrong, help users to get to know your product, but get to know your product in a way that’s not me, me, me, it’s you, you, you. Right? So can you expand on these five strategies a bit and where relevant please provide an example.

Stefan Smulders  18:54

Yeah, for sure for sure for sure. Yeah, first of all, as you know, we are into an exciting journey with Expandi with hyper growth we created bootstrap and 18 months to a bit more than 6 million in annual revenue and in the beginning, we did not even have any door to spend on paid advertisements or traditional marketing so then you need to think a bit more out of the box and actually what we did was taking a bit more forms of all the lags and the gaps we found in the market along all the current providers out there. And what we saw first of all was for example that all these other providers they were mainly focused on their website. They went pronouncing all their features and how good they are and in that but actually nobody was talking about Okay, how and what you have to do to get benefit using these features and what will bring you as a result. The market was lacking a bit in producing content on actionable content. So step by step guides, okay, I consider to do LinkedIn outreach. And if I like it, I want to do automation, but where should I start? How should I do it? Which tactics Can I use? So we decided to use our own growth strategies, which helped Expandi to grow so fast to build case studies out of it. Actually step by step guides or growth hacks or whatever you want to call it. With real examples, with in depth explanations on how we executed such kind of strategies, how we connected the dots, which tools you need to build such kind of strategy, which examples, templates, messages we used, but also the results we got from it on a honest way. And the feedback we received from the people who are approaching and appointments we booked. We took screenshots of all of that. And it was a real hit. Because people were really thankful, especially in the beginning, our time for providing such kind of a hacks to help me book an X amount of appointments each and every for myself or for my agency. So we kept on going with doing this. And it resulted at the end that we slowly became kind of this CNN for LinkedIn lead generation, just and cool place where people could find all the latest hacks, strategies. And the best part of it is that it was no flush. We all executed it themselves with real results with everything in it. So at the moment, because of that valuable content we created. We have now more than 50k unique visitors and blog readers per month on our website. And a lot of people want to take advantage of all the things we share over there. And to make a small bridge to the second part of the strategy, it mainly has to do with a content distribution, right, because if you produce really valuable and great content and not focus on distribution, nobody will find you and nobody will visited or took an action out of that. So you can do that on different rates. And the beginning, we were mainly focused, for example, on creating such kind of content around tactics and strategies. And we did not even care for sale optimized content, we put only a lot of effort in the promotion part. And let me give you some examples on how we did that at that time point. And then we are talking about maybe 15, 16 months ago. If we executed this kind of strategy ourselves, our content team starts working on gathering all the things we need to produce that blog article. And from their own, we map out actually a couple of strategies to distribute it. And in our case, we looked for places where our audiences were. And we are mainly focused on LinkedIn done for you agencies for world marketers, for growth hackers, actually people who are active on LinkedIn, where I laugh at automations of people who are managing more than one LinkedIn profile. Now we found out that a lot of these people, you can find on our own indie hackers, own growth hacker. So with a lot of creativity, we push the articles there with uploads from different backgrounds to put it a bit more to the top, so that more people saw and read. The second thing is that we were very active in different Facebook communities. And then we started to make a really cool intro in their shared article and asked people to leave a comment. If they want to add an article. For example, LinkedIn outreach is dead. But we have so we found a cool hack, where we booked 40 appointments 70% acceptance rate we explained in the app, how you can achieve that with all examples, templates, and so on and so forth. If you are interested, just leave a comment and we will go over to engage people. And we did exactly the same on LinkedIn. And on LinkedIn. We boosted the posts with engagement posts. It was a bit of a new at that time point and they were well working tools like Limbo for example. And luckily it helped us to generate on average more than 160k views per post. And 1000s of people who commented and engage with it at that time point. I’m not sure if it’s working that perfectly these days but as a new kids on the block in our industry, using that way of distribution that helps us to get a lot of visibility. And then from there on, we put it a small retargeting on it for the people who read our blogs. So that was mainly but a lot of manual effort. We replied on Facebook, for example manually to all the people who want to receive such kind of… and blog article and then before followed up from the one on one messages. So it was a very time consuming acquisition. But it was well working. And it actually also helped us to build a community around Expandi and maybe that again, a nice bridge to to the third pillar or strategy, as I discussed in the in the article of medium. Building and community will help you as an entrepreneur, or as an SaaS founder to share your ideas along the way, to validate things you have in mind, but also to ask that community to give you a feedback, and to give their own opinions, to share things with them, not only if it’s to be a success, but also to listen to them if there are challenges and problems and to be transparent with them. And I saw that the sooner you start with creating community, even if your product is not ready yet. It will help you to use it as the place to push interested people over and from all the outreach funnels you’re building. It will help to engage with your customer base on a much more easy array in a central place. And it will also help that people will respect you much more. Also, if things are not going that long. For example, I saw because of all the valuable ideas in terms of content, we shared our derider that people became real fans of us. And as soon as people started discussions in other communities or groups about which kind of automations they should use, we saw that a lot of our competitors were always pronouncing themselves as a founder as you need to use this tool or that tool. We never did that ourselves in our community. They became actually an army for us and how you need to go 100% Expandi, they have the best support, the best automations, the best everything, the greatest content. And I think that’s a huge of founders we got from creating a community and a safe place to communicate with like-minded people who were using our product or who are interested just to learn more about how you can use such kind of ways on LinkedIn to approach and outreach.

Christian Klepp  29:02

So they became like your ambassadors, right? Like a brand ambassador.

Stefan Smulders  29:06

Definitely. Yeah, definitely. So that’s, that’s a thing I should strongly recommend to every SaaS founder or entrepreneur to create a community around your product. Don’t be scared if things are not perfect, though. Don’t be scared. If it’s not finished yet. Don’t be scared if you make a mistake. Just share it on transparent way because people are very happy to be part of something that’s common, and that they can give a feedback and that you will adopt it. That’s the way, the right way. And my believing to build a real connection with people who are using your solution or platform or software. And yeah, I should definitely start as soon as possible with it. It’s also an opportunity to, I think, figure out more about micro trends or actually what’s going on in the minds of the community. As I mentioned with all these content distributions, it it was a lot of manual work and because we did not have the skills in our Marketing team at that time point to create content, which was actually SEO optimized. And to build a more consistent way of incoming traffic each and every month, we decided, at the time point that we were generating some money to go double down on, say, SEO. And we teamed up with an external company Quoleady in there. And they really did an amazing job helping Expandi the actually became the CNN of lead generation and the number one of content with LinkedIn tips, with hacks, with strategies with everything related to improve your outreach. It almost brought in the results right away. I think after a couple of months, it starts became one of our most and best converting inbound strategies. Because it’s such amount of people, which are coming back to your website each and every time, you can imagine the generates hundreds, not even 1000s of signups each and every month. And yet the effort you have to put in afterwards is a bit of a more or less in comparing to do an active outbound outreach where you have to be much more focused and follow up all these people, which is sometimes also a challenge. So that was actually one of the best decisions we made to go double down on SEO, because it gave us so much traffic, and it still do and we extend the cooperation with this great partner. They are actually ahead of the game in terms of new ways to do a better job on SEO to do better link building and everything related to that. So as maybe not for a fast results in the beginning as an early stage startup. If I’m going to give you the results immediately. So therefore, I think the order related to first, this will relate a lot our own way and afterwards, cooperated. So it’s kind of a specialized company, in that particular topic, is the right order for us to do it. And it was it actually still brings a sponsor of people who came from all these articles and content pieces we produced. And I think the last beiler, as I mentioned as well in the article is how you actually help users to know your product better. Especially with all the changes that are going on LinkedIn. I saw since that happened that people from everywhere around the globe, they start approaching the connecting with me on different social media channels to ask my opinion, even people who are not using our own software bridges, people who, I felt that a bit as they are scared because of these changes and what I have to do and LinkedIn is cracking down and I can reach my quotas. And I can’t reach results for my customers because of the limitations. So I think educating people is a very important thing on how to use your product or service or how they can adopt new ways to do outreach on LinkedIn. And instead of helping people to build workarounds to bypass such kind of limits, that’s I think, for the time being, maybe for the next couple of months, or maybe a year until the moment that LinkedIn will crack down that as well. Also a way to go. But on the long run, we have to do a step back, came out of the comfort zones. Leave all these spray and pray approaches and invest a bit of a more time in what you want to achieve and how you can do that on a way that aligns a bit more friendly with what LinkedIn expects of you as an user to do. Therefore, we came up with a new Academy, very tender, with a lot of industry experts, and create the master classes around a different topics. And we actually invited these experts to provide a master class about a specific topic they master themselves. And that can be a personalization or hyper personalization, master class that can be about event, I really think hosting LinkedIn events is the new way to go. But it’s also fair enough to say that, okay, if you create your own event, and I explain you how to do that, it’s quite a challenge to get a lot of attendees to your event, but with helping people and explained them, and we adopt a lot of automations with Expandi how you can, for example, invite on how to pilot your first degree connections, or you can post content related to your event topic on LinkedIn on autopilot. How you can engage with people which are also attending an event such as in group automation, to increase the amount of people with strategies, so that you also can get 1000 people attending your next event. And by helping people just giving them inspiration, sharing them practical ideas step by step very slow, so that they can adopt it themselves. That’s definitely for the long run, I think the way to go. So we will focus a bit more than we already did before. On such kind of an activity to help people better to adopt the product. It will also help reduce churn. So it will also help to make people a better user of your software. And if they became a better user with a better results, they will pronounce it, and spread the word out of it along with their friends or colleagues or maybe all the people who could be beneficial from your software as well. So I think that’s a bit of a recap about… an explanation about what I wrote over there. Right?

Christian Klepp  38:11

Wow. (laugh) I want to say, first of all, thank you for sharing all of that with us. And I really hope to the audience out there that you have been doing the same thing that I’ve been doing in the past couple of minutes. And you’ve been taking notes, as Stefan was talking, because a lot of the things that you’ve been sharing in the past couple of minutes are, in my opinion, actionable, right? You’ve talked about the strategies you’ve used, and you’ve given examples for each and you know, some of the points that you brought up, they are so relevant for a lot of B2B companies out there, especially in the the SaaS and tech startup space, because, you know, I would say, I wouldn’t say it’s a standard procedure, but it’s this unwritten rule that you have to prove the business model, and then scale it with as little money as possible, if you can, right. And if you’re strapped for resources, which a lot of them are, a lot of us are right? We don’t have, we don’t all have huge budgets. So how do we expand our operations, expand our reach, and do it in a way that is strategic? And to your point, which I think was a really important one? Because you didn’t just put content out there? Because it’s, you know, oh, look, our product was so great. You put content out there because you genuinely understood the pain points and the challenges that your potential customers are facing. And you answered these questions that they had. Right?

Stefan Smulders  39:37

Definitely, that was the main reason behind and as I mentioned before, a bit of a gap we saw in combination with the struggles people asked to get results out of doing outreach on LinkedIn.

Christian Klepp  39:54

Yeah, no, exactly, exactly. So we go on to the next question. And this one is about what is the status quo or a commonly held belief in your area of expertise that you passionately disagree with, and why?

Stefan Smulders  40:10

I hear a lot of stories from people. LinkedIn outreach is dead. And I disagree, because due to all these changes, of course, it’s related and people are frustrated. But I definitely disagree with that. It’s still a goldmine. And I really believe it. I prove it, I show still show it. I give the examples. And I think for all the people who are interested to, not particularly using Expandi, but just improving and the level up their LinkedIn outreach game, it’s worth to have a better ideas and inspirations about “Okay, how can I survive what I should do? What are actually tactics I was not even aware of?” Because most of these ones are quite simple, easy to implement. And it’s just tweaking and small changes, and then you will be in love with the results and their improvements you see, so.

Christian Klepp  41:25

Okay, okay. Well, that’s a that’s a, that’s definitely an interesting one. Like, just to wrap up the conversation, that kind of advice that you would give people out there that are interested in using automation and to optimize automation in the right way, what is the one thing you think they should start, and one thing that they should stop?

Stefan Smulders  41:48

Should start with making first of all sure about what they want to do, instead of going to Google searching for best performing LinkedIn connection requests, taking a copy of these templates, and start outreaching people all days, actually, maybe doesn’t. First of all, that might matter on which kind of tools you want to use in this space. I think it’s a  more work for yourself to start outlining and defining, okay, what I actually wants to achieve? And then as a second question, how I want to do that is definitely not my intention in here to push or promote people to Expandi. I really, as a strong believer in tactics and providing as much value as I can, I should recommend these people just to at least, look at our blog, it’s on our Expandi website. And this will give you the kind of inspiration and ideas on how you can use such kind of automations. And it really doesn’t matter for me if you already use any kind of automations, or you just want to use the strategies or embed or implement it. But I should definitely start with making a bit more clear for yourself what you want to achieve, and then as a next question. Okay. How you want to do that?

Christian Klepp  43:35

Okay. And what about the stop part of the question? What should they stopped doing?

Stefan Smulders  43:42

This should stop focusing on mass outreach. That is one thing. LinkedIn is also forcing you to do that. Stop giving up, because there’s still so many opportunities to get traction on the platform that people have to stop giving up, and believing in that as well. Yeah,

Christian Klepp  44:10

Yeah, no, absolutely. Absolutely. Stefan, as expected, this conversation was incredibly informative, incredibly insightful, you know, you gave you, you shed so much of your experience and expertise of the listener. So thank you, again, for coming on and sharing. Please tell us a little bit about yourself and how people out there can get in touch with you.

Stefan Smulders  44:33

Yeah, definitely. I’m located in the Netherlands. And the most easiest way for people is to follow me for example, I’m also Forbes Council, they can connect with me over there, I produce a lot of articles for the Forbes Council this way. And for the ones who are a bit of a more active on the socials. I think a great way to reach out with me is on the Facebook Messenger. We’re very responsive over there as a founder of the 3rd party app on LinkedIn. They removed me over there. So that’s actually one of the disadvantages of being a founder of a third party app on LinkedIn, which is against the policies, and we saw they did it with a lot of founders, therefore, I’m very responsive on Facebook. Just send me a friend request I’m happy to help you out have any questions you have.

Christian Klepp  45:30

Fantastic. Fantastic. Stefan once again, this has been a great session. Thank you so much for your time. Dank u wel.

Stefan Smulders  45:39

Dank u wel. Okay. Great flows of conversation. It was an honor to be here as a fan of the show myself, Christian. People going with what you’re doing. I really enjoy this session. I’m looking forward to, to how it’s come along as well.

Christian Klepp  45:55

Likewise, likewise, okay, Stefan, thank you so much again. Take care, be safe and talk soon. Bye for now.

Stefan Smulders  45:36

Bye bye.

Christian Klepp  46:04

Thank you for joining us on this episode of the B2B Marketers on a Mission podcast. To learn more about what we do here at EINBLICK, please visit our website at www.einblick.co and be sure to subscribe to the show on iTunes or your favorite podcast player.


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